Piotr Bernatowicz is the new director of a leading Warsaw art museum, the Ujazdowski Castle Center for Contemporary Art. For three decades it has exhibited Poland’s leading experimental artists and hosted work by “international stars,” according to this article (Alex Marshall, “A Polish Museum Turns to the Right, and Artists Turn Away,” NYTimes, 1-8-2020).
Mr. Bernatowicz says artists who do not “make work about fighting climate change and fascism, or promoting gay rights” are marginalized. He wishes to “promote artists who have other views: conservative, patriotic, pro-family.”
His plans are making the museum into another battleground in Polish culture wars that “pit liberals against the governing populist Law and Justice Party, as well as other conservative groups,” according to the article.
… Some art world figures said it will be difficult to find enough right-wing works to show. “I don’t know what a conservative artist is,” Malgorzata Ludwisiak, the Ujazdowski’s previous director, said. “If it means painting like in the 19th century — a lady on a horse — well, it’s not contemporary art.”
Mr. Bernatowicz says, “I hope within the next seven years, the situation will change.” (He has been appointed for a term of seven years — “far longer than normal.”)
(c) 2020 JMN